Topics: Pakistan, Punjab, Lahore Pages: 1 (398 words) Published: May 15, 2012
Vasant is known as Basant Panchami in Punjab and Haryana. It marks the advent of spring. Fields of mustard present a colorful sight all over rural Punjab. The Basant fair is held in many villages of Punjab. People put on yellow costumes appropriate to the season and eat boiled rice dyed in saffron. Symbolizing greenery, the event signifies developing of tender leaves and also filled-up granary with the recently-harvested crops. It is traditional to fly kites on Basant. The phrase "Ayi Basant Pala Udant" (with the beginning of spring season, winter bids farewell) holds true at this time of the year. Being the historic capital of Punjab Basant is celebrated with vigour and enthusiasm in the ancient city of Lahore. Although traditionally it was a festival confined to the old-walled city it has spread all through out the city. Other cities in which Basant is mainly celebrated are Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Jhelum, Sialkot and Rawalpindi/Islamabad. The ancient eastern city of Lahore marks the beginning of spring with the Basant carnival, comprising of kite-flying, rooftop gatherings, garden parties, etc. Residents of Lahore and out-of-town enthusiasts put on glamorous clothes, in the yellow and green of spring flowers blooming citywide, to bid farewell to the winter and welcome spring. Nighttime kite-flying in the walled old quarter around the 16th century Badshahi mosque and Lahore fort opens the festival. Ancient mughal palaces throw open their doors for all-night parties to view the kites, illuminated by spotlights. Stars from the local 'Lollywood' film industry perform with classical Qawali musicians at parties in traditional haveli homes. Men dress themselves in embroidered shalwar kameez with matching ankle-length scarves, little boys strut in three piece suits, and women coat their hands with henna and stack their arms with bangles. Pakistanis from across the country gather in Lahore for the festival, crowding the Islamabad to Lahore motorway to catch a glimpse of...
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